The Singing Nun

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Jeanine Deckers (17 October 1933(1933-10-17) – 29 March 1985(1985-03-29)), known in English as The Singing Nun, was a Belgian nun, and a member (as Sister Luc Gabriel) of the Dominican Fichermont Convent in Belgium. She became internationally famous in 1963 as Sœur Sourire (Sister Smile) when she scored a hit with the song "Dominique". In the English-language world, she is credited on her records as "The Singing Nun".

Contents

Biography

Early years

Born Jeanne-Paule Marie Deckers, she was a nun in the Dominican Fichermont Convent in Waterloo, Belgium. While in the convent, she wrote, sang and performed her own songs, which were so well received by the order and at retreats that the monastery decided to let her record an album, which visitors and retreatists to the monastery would be able to purchase.

In 1963, the album was recorded in Brussels at Philips. The single "Dominique" became an international hit. Many radio stations in the U.S. played it and other softer hits more often in the wake of the John F. Kennedy assassination. Overnight, the Dominican nun was an international celebrity with the stage name of Sœur Sourire (Sister Smile). She gave concerts and appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show on 5 January 1964.[1] As of November 2009, "Dominique" is the only Belgian song that has ever been a number one hit single in the United States.[citation needed]

Effects of fame and further musical career

In 1966, a movie called The Singing Nun was made about her, starring Debbie Reynolds in the title role. Deckers rejected the film as "fiction".[2]

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